Although not the best snowboarding season, this winta' has been easy on the shoveling, my fuel bills and other than last weekend's frozen pipes (-33.1 F ambient at the top of Stratton) in the VT house, it's been a relatively smooth kickoff for the new year.
I'm at the office at the NH beach today where it will be close to 60 as I attend a day long board meeting outside NE (gotta love Zoom!), and with just a bit of spring fever, I'm already thinking through what needs to be done before the real spring kicks over in the calendar on March 20th.
- Tufts classes are now five weeks into the semester, and we are deep into sales and marketing tactics from lead gen to pricing to hiring since final plans must be delivered to clients mid-April. These are two courses, where five to six students on a team undertake projects for real companies from which management provides 40% of the team's grade. Exciting and exacting and very real world for everyone involved! If you're interested in a project for next semester, just connect with me at any time.
- With our consulting customers, almost all are already undergoing some level of detailed review of their 2023 sales plans. In most cases, that work consists of retuning and sharpening, but in a few cases, this has led to rethinking a total recast of their plans given the rapidly changing environment of both labor availability and the Fed.
- If you're concerned that it may still be too early to think about a redo of your carefully constructed sales plan for this year, which, after all, is only six weeks in, then do consider where you could plug in more detail with the adoption of an improved sales planning tool or two. One of our most recommended tools at this time of year is to create a detailed quarter or two pf a tactical sales playbook. Since we're heavy users of Hubspot, here's an example. If you want to discuss a couple of use cases, just connect with me.
A couple of sales planning ideas to consider halfway into this quarter:
- It's time to do a quick assessment, grading and decision making on your salespeople. At the very heart of the success of every sales organization is the capacity, the capabilities, the experience and the skills of our salespeople. Decision making now on people and where we need to apply new processes and improved tactical training will guarantee better sales results in Q2!
- As to hiring, this is a superb time to rethink your needs and your hiring plans for BDRs, AEs and Customer Success people for the balance of the year. In the last six weeks, I've seen the sourcing of excellent talent increase significantly as high performers become more and more concerned, especially in tech, as to the possibility of cutbacks. Keep in mind here, your own planning ideas regarding hiring should be exactly the same as those of a very successful coach who is always sourcing talent even when they are not able to hire. Also consider the math that a decision to just begin a hiring process made today is then followed by a detailed process of sourcing, hiring, onboarding and longer-term training which will finally yield a successful salesperson who is consistently on quota 12 to 24 months from now.
- The final early spring planning consideration for today is to do a retune of your various sales and marketing tech tools. Which tools can be better tied together into your CRM or CMS? Which tools require detailed retraining? Which can be eliminated altogether? We are all in on almost every tool that Hubspot has to offer. Having said that I've just hired one of my highly skilled seniors (all of my students must be certified in Hubspot) to go through all of our lists since the analytics show we are not as efficient as we used to be.
Of course, if you are looking for the very best entry-level sales and marketing associates, let me know directly. I would add to that comment that within the Derby Entrepreneurship Center, we see around 1,000 students each year across a very wide range of majors from CS to product engineering to philosophy to nutrition and economics.
2023 SALES PLANNING
One of the tasks I completed during the holiday break was to update our sales productivity site page and our new edition of Writing the Winning Sales Plan for 2023. Or you can just email me, and I will send you a free copy, and, of course, connect with me at any time for questions, comments or just catching up.
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND & CONNECT ANYTIME!
Connect with me at any time for some quick ideas and feedback. There's never a cost for a call or two, plus I love listening and talking about Sales & Marketing.